Destination Guide to the Heart of England

Home to Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon, the city of Oxford, bundles of historic villages and the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, exploring the Heart of England is an essential part of the English vacation experience. The Heart of England is home to the glorious Cotswolds countryside, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.

Demonstrating rural England at its most quintessential, the Cotswolds region covers much of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire and is typified by gently sloping patchwork fields, rolling hills, meandering rivers and soft woodlands. The region is dotted with traditional towns and villages with eccentric names such as Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh. Attractions in themselves, these settlements are attractive collections of honey coloured sandstone houses, thatch cottages and cobbled market squares.

Gloriously picturesque on a larger scale, the cities of Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon are both absolute "must-sees" for this region. Oxford is home to one of the world's most famous academic institutions at Oxford University, the college buildings offer stunning architecture whilst the city holds a wistful air of academia. An elegant medieval town of timberwork buildings and open greens Stratford was once home to the Bard himself and the surrounding areas hold a wealth of Shakespeare heritage and dedicated sites. Further west along the English border with Wales there are a procession of Tudor market towns and stunning medieval cathedral cities such as Gloucester, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and Shrewsbury whilst in the centre of England you'll find the buzzing metropolis of Birmingham, England's second most populous city.

The Heart of England's landscapes are punctuated with stately homes and castles including some of England's best known sites such as Blenheim Palace (near Oxford), Chatsworth House, in the Peak District, the archetypal medieval fortress at Warwick Castle and the lesser known romantic gardens of Sudely Castle. For those who prefer their history more recent, a visit to the designated world heritage site at Ironbridge in the Shropshire hills is not to be missed.

North of Birmingham, you'll find the Peak District, England's first protected National Park and another area of outstanding natural beauty. In contrast with the mellow slopes of the Cotwolds, the Peak District is a hiker's paradise offering dramatic landscapes, rocky precipices, underground caverns, peat bogs and wild moorlands.

Encompassing some of England's key historic city's and sites, alongside lesser known gems and some of the country's most quintessential countryside, central England really is the Heart of England.

Relevant Tours

Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

Experience the contrasts of two distinct British cultures on this tour of England and Wales.  Enjoy the stunning vistas of the Cotswolds and Snowdonia National Park to the icons of English and Welsh history at York Minster, Shakespeare's Stratford, Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge.

London Tours - Imperial War Museum

Embark on a journey back in time on the Battle of Britain tour which takes you through regions of central and Southern England steeped in history. This is your chance to witness some of the most intriguing aviation and war museums Britain has to offer not to mention some truly unique experiences; walk in the footsteps of fallen heroes and take flight over Cambridge in a fully restored Dragon Rapide aircraft.

England Tours of Oxford

Experience all that is great about Britain on the ultimate tour of England, Scotland and Wales. See it all, from the thriving capital cities of London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to the remote Scottish Highlands, tranquil Lake District and spectacular Snowdonia National Park. Along the way you'll experience diverse cultures and histories and see world-famous landmarks.

Britain Tours - Lake District

Experience the very best of England, Scotland and Wales on this quality tour of all of Britain. Enjoy the fabulous cities of York, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff and pass through areas of outstanding scenery in the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, the Trossachs, the Lake District and the renowned coastal counties of England's West Country; Devon and Cornwall.

England Tours - Stonehenge

Discover quintessential England as you explore the patchwork countryside of the Cotswolds and some of England's most captivating historic cities. Delight in whimsical Oxford, Shakespeare's Stratford and the grandeur of regency city Bath or lesser known gems such as the eccentric villages of Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh.

Tour of York England

Utilize the extensive English rail network to explore the corners of the English nation.  From the Salisbury Plain and West Country coasts , Lake District and Cotswolds to the charming heritage cities of Bath, York, Stratford upon Avon and Chester.  This is the ultimate rail tour of England.

England Tours Salisbury

Enjoy the highlights of Britain on this leisurely 15-day tour which takes you from the most southerly tip of England at Land's End to Scotland's St Andrews. On route discover national icons such as Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle and Windsor Castle alongside more "off the beaten path" destinations as you explore the coast and countryside of Devon and Cornwall, ancient Wales and the towns and dales of Yorkshire.

Tours of England - Bath

Discover some of Britain’s finest cities and all that’s in between on this leisurely tour of the East of Scotland and England. Travelling from Edinburgh to London via York, you’ll enjoy overnight stays in our most renowned historic and cultural centres whilst your daily excursions will take you to a host of smaller towns and areas of natural beauty including St Andrews, the Scottish Borders, the North Yorkshire Moors and the Cotswolds.

Tours of London - Tower Bridge

This journey takes you from London to Edinburgh providing the full British history and culture experience. See Oxford and the Cotswolds, shop at Chester's Rows, wind through Wales' stunning Snowdonia National Park, sample local Welsh cuisine, enjoy medieval York and explore Wordsworth's Lake District before finally visiting mysterious chapels and stately homes in the Scottish Lowlands.

Tours of England - Bath

Enjoy the history and grandeur of an ancient land on this castle tour of England. By day you'll explore castle ruins, historic sites, stunning landscapes and cultural jewels such as Oxford, Stratford, Chester, York and Bath whilst by night you'll live like royalty as you experience historic and characterful castle hotels and opulent country manors!

England Tours - Lake District

Discover quintessential England as you explore the patchwork countryside of the Cotswolds and some of England's most captivating historic cities. Delight in the rolling fields of Cambridgeshire, the walking haven of the Lake District and the grandeur of regency city Bath, before retiring to a comfortable overnight stay in a traditional pub or inn offering classic "pub-grub" for your evening meal and a selection of ales in the bar.

A succinct but feature-packed tour, this spirited journey captures the essence of Britain in only a few days. Visiting England, Scotland and Wales it includes a fantastic cross-section of Britain's historical towns, traditional heritage, cultural figures and idyllic scenic landscapes not to mention some real gems of this great nation.

England Tours - Stonehenge

A British Journey takes you from Scotland to England's capital city enjoying a wealth of cultural highlights along the way. Explore the Highlands in miniature and the metropolis of Glasgow before passing south through the inspiring landscapes of the Lake District and Cotswolds to glorious historic cities including Chester, Stratford upon Avon and Bath.

Tours of Scotland - Edinburgh Arthurs Seat

Uncover the myths, legends and history of this amazing isle! On this tour you'll discover both cultural highlights and unrivalled scenery; from the towns and cities of Stratford-upon-Avon, York, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow, Liverpool and Bath to the majestic scenery of the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District and the Wye Valley.

Tours of the Heart of England - Warwick Castle

Navigate the English rail network as you explore the heart of England and its historic cities. Sit back and enjoy the scenic countryside roll by before exploring the grandeur of Bath, Shakespeare's Stratford and the University city of Oxford not to mention the capital city of London.

Tours England - York

England Explorer offers an in depth tour of this great nation. From the charming countryside of the Lake District and the Cotswolds to the exciting cities of Liverpool and York this tour takes in England's most renowned sites and some lesser known gems.

Tours of England - Bath

Heart of England is one of Britain's most iconic and traditional regions, encompassing Oxford, Stratford-upon Avon, Bath and the Cotswolds. On your five day journey we'll experience Oxford's dreaming Spires, visit enchanting film locations, explore honey-coloured Cotswold villages, ancient abbeys and stately homes not to mention the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath.

Tours of England - Liverpool

Experience English icons, a number of heritage cities and the tranquil beauty of the English countryside as you traverse the England's rail network. Smooth rail rides will take you from capital London to York, Liverpool and the Bard's Stratford upon Avon.

Castle Tours - Blenheim Palace

Indulge in the history and heritage of England, Scotland and Wales by day and see its character reflected in your unique and distinguished accommodation each night on this deluxe tour of Britain. Enjoy elegant cities in York, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh as well as the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish Lowlands and the mountains of Snowdonia.

Tours of London - Tower Bridge

Discover some of Britain's finest cities and all that's in between on this leisurely tour of the East of Scotland and England. Travelling from Edinburgh to London via York, you'll enjoy overnight stays in our most renowned historic and cultural centres whilst your daily excursions will take you to a host of smaller towns and areas of natural beauty including St Andrews, the Scottish Borders, the North Yorkshire Moors and the Cotswolds.

England Tours Salisbury

Icons of England takes you on a journey of discovery of England's most renowned sites, cities and landscapes. You'll experience English icons including the colleges of Cambridge, historic York Minster, the classic countryside of the Cotswolds, Warwick Castle, Shakespeare's Stratford, Roman Baths, the enigmatic Stonehenge and the grandiose Windsor Castle.

Tours of London - Tower Bridge

With London as your base and your Britrail London Plus Pass in your back pocket you're equipped not only to explore the wonders of England's capital but also to travel through the tranquil countryside to a host of surrounding heritage towns and cities such as Bath, Stratford upon Avon, Canterbury and Cambridge.

Tours of England - Liverpool

Explore two of Britain's great nations touring from London, the exuberant English capital to the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. Along the way you'll experience thriving cities from the Beatles' Liverpool, vibrant Glasgow and historic Edinburgh as well as areas of outstanding scenery in the Cotswolds, Lake District and the along the shores of remote lochs, Loch Ness and Loch Lomond.

Tours of England - Liverpool

Enjoy two countries for the price of one as you use the British rail network to explore England and Wales. Travelling in comfort enjoy the city highlights including Cardiff, London and York as well as scenic train rides through the enigmatic countryside of North Wales, the Cotwsolds and the Yorkshire dales.

Wales Tours - Conwy Valley

Enjoy a journey through the heart of Britain taking in iconic landmarks of central England and lesser-known but equally enchanting gems of Wales. From the city of London, the Roman Baths, Stonehenge and Oxford we'll journey to the opulent Cardiff Castle, through the wilderness Brecon Beacons and to the medieval fortresses and majestic mountains of North Wales and the spectacular Snowdonia National Park.

Tours of England - Hampton Court

Sweeping through a land with rich history and tradition, bustling cities and picturesque villages, rolling green hills and rugged coastlines, The Royal tour of Britain, new for 2018 has been specifically designed to include Royal connections of the UK. From the gates of Balmoral to Buckingham Palace explore the historic streets of Edinburgh to the excitement of London, one breath-taking step at a time.

Scotland Tours - Edinburgh at night

Experience cityscapes and scenic lakes on this lively tour which will give you a flavour of England, Scotland and Wales. From London to medieval York, historic Edinburgh, vibrant Liverpool and the Welsh capital of Cardiff, you'll enjoy an insight in to British culture and craftsmanship. And by popular demand, Real Britain also offers a number of Winter departures.

Tours of England - Liverpool

Indulge in a tour of two of Britain's unique nations as you explore the sights and sounds of England and Scotland. From the vibrant and historic cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and York to the stunning landscapes of the Lake District and the Scottish Trossachs not to mention a host of icons and lesser known gems along the way.

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